Bulls’ Lonzo Ball Still Unable To Sprint

There is increasing concern about the progress of Lonzo Ball‘s rehab, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Ball was supposed to begin sprinting in January, but that still hasn’t happened, per Cowley. The Bulls point guard hasn’t played since January 2022. He has undergone three surgeries on his left knee since then, including a cartilage transplant last March.

“I don’t know if he’s stuck,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He is doing some shooting, some running, some jumping. He hasn’t done any sprinting yet, that I know.”

Donovan stopped short of calling it a setback.

“They talked about that, and (sprinting) was kind of a goal, a setpoint,” he said. “I do think the one thing that has been a priority right now so he does not get set back is he needs to develop more strength in his leg. Because of him having that surgery and being off his leg so long, before he’s really able to ramp up I think they want him to get to a place physically that relates to his quad strength, hamstring strength, before he starts to really do that. I don’t want to say it’s a holdup, but that’s where they want to get him to. In terms of what he’s doing, he feels better.”

Most of Ball’s rehab work this season has been done in Los Angeles, though he has spent some time in Chicago. The veteran guard expressed optimism last summer that his latest procedure would eventually get him back in action.

Ball holds a player option of approximately $21.4MM on the final year of his contract. It’s a virtual certainty he’ll opt it, given how long he’s been sidelined. It’s too soon to know how his body will respond once he progresses to sprinting and basketball-related drills, but there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll return to action next season.

Chicago has lost Ball’s former backcourt partner Zach LaVine to a season-ending foot injury this season. Power forward Patrick Williams has also been lost for the season with his own foot issues.

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